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Games-Life not a beach for Malaysian SEA Games athletes

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May 21 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Chef de Mission Norza Zakaria has a message for any athletes who think next month's SEA Games will be an opportunity to cut loose and let their hair down in Singapore -- "This is not a holiday".

With the country's Olympic council (OCM) still fuming over a $40,000 bill for fines and damage to accommodation at last year's Asian Games, Malaysia's athletes will have to abide by strict procedures or risk being sent home.

"This is not a holiday, where one can bring his or her family or friends to the hotel room," he was quoted as saying in Thursday's Malaysia Star.

"If we allow this, the athletes will then have a good excuse to say that others are responsible for the damage done in the room.

"They can meet their friends at the hotel lobby. We will also get the team managers to conduct random checks."

The OCM hit out at athletes' behaviour in South Korea's Incheon after Asiad organisers sent them a 142,478 Malaysian Ringgit bill, the highest the OCM had ever received after a major multi-sport Games, the paper reported at the weekend.

OCM Secretary General Sieh Kok Chi had told the newspaper that smoking and damage to property were the major issues and that the fines would be passed on to sports associations.

(Writing by Peter Rutherford in Seoul; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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